Mens Hockey Plays in First-Ever Outdoor MIAC Hockey Game

Photo of Auggie Hockey players embracing during Jan. 27th game against Saint Johns, taken by Kevin Healy 

Bobbi Jo Evers, staff writer

The Augsburg men’s hockey team took part in some significant history on the evening of Friday, Jan. 27. The Auggies faced off against the rival Saint John’s Johnnies outdoors at Polar Lakes Park in White Bear Lake, MN in a thrilling overtime contest. The game was part of Hockey Day Minnesota, an annual event featuring outdoor high school and college hockey games that has been held annually since 2007 (with the exception of 2021). This game was particularly notable because it was the first time ever that two Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) teams participated. 

Augsburg senior forward Gavin Holland had a goal in each period of the game, earning himself his first collegiate hat trick. His first goal was assisted by senior forward Jarod Blackowiak and senior defenseman Nick Woodward at the 11:09 timestamp of the first period. His second goal came from assists from Woodward and senior forward Austin Dollimer in the second period at the 12:44 timestamp. Holland completed his hat trick after assists from junior defenseman Jake Osiecki and sophomore forward Dylan Schneider in at the 15:41 timestamp of the third period. This goal gave the Auggies their first lead of the night at 3-2. The Johnnies tied the game at 3 at the 12:32 mark of the period, but senior forward Erik Palmqvist fired a hard angle shot to give the Auggies the lead back at the 4:21 timestamp. After they tied the game at 4 to send it to overtime, the Johnnies’ Jackson Sabo stole the puck and scored in the extra session, which earned the Johnnies the win. Overall, senior goalie Jack Robbel had a total of 17 saves for Augsburg. 

Augsburg play-by-play broadcaster Alex Westad offered some insight on his experience throughout the hockey season thus far and the opportunity to announce at this game in his hometown of White Bear Lake. “It was great to see the turnout of people, not just for Augsburg and Saint John’s but from the White Bear Lake community as well. They were treated to a great game that really brought the MIAC into regional prominence. To have it in my hometown was just all the sweeter and I’m glad that I got the opportunity,” said Westad. 

As someone who spends nights upon nights with the Auggie hockey teams, there is so much to look forward to, especially as they play through the final chunk of the season. Westad shared what he would like to see for the remainder of the season and offered some thoughts on the Auggies’ playoff push. “The Auggies control their own playoff destiny with meaningful games the rest of the way but the margin for error is slipping. St. Olaf and Saint Mary’s are both within a game of Augsburg so you need to get wins to secure your spot,” Westad said. “This team has all the potential to win the MIAC playoff but they have to start playing like it’s the playoffs now.” 

You can follow Augsburg men’s hockey’s final push to the postseason by visiting their Augsburg Athletics page online. With only a few games remaining for the team, there are only a couple of chances left to cheer on the Auggies at Ed Saugestad Rink in the regular season.